Use this homemade pickling spice recipe for pickling cucumbers or any of your pickled or fermented vegetables. It gives the pickle brine a delicious and complex flavor. Made with mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander, allspice and more.
During busy summer gardening months, I often find myself pressed for time to cook, preserve, pickle, ferment or can my garden produce. Having this homemade pickling spice on hand is one way to save some time in the process.
Instead of pulling out a dozen individual jars from the pantry every single time in order to flavor my brine and pickled vegetables, I combine the pickling spices into a big batch of spice blend. This way I can cover 7-9 spices with just one spoonful of this mix.
Ingredients & Notes
- whole mustard seeds - black or yellow or a mix of the two
- whole coriander seeds
- whole black peppercorns
- dill seeds - optional; sometimes I replace it with fennel seeds
- whole allspice berries
- red pepper flakes - for just a bit of a kick; add more or whole chili peppers for spicy pickles
- whole cloves - crushed by hand or with a mortar and pestle
- bay leaves - crushed or ripped up by hand
- ground ginger - optional
Note: although I often use this pickling spice recipe for dill pickles, I am not including dried dill weed in the mix. I like to use fresh dill when I can. And I also use this mix for other pickling and fermentation recipes, where I don't want dill flavor.
Find the full measurements in the recipe box below.
- Prep the whole cloves and bay leaves by crushing them by hand or with a mortar and pestle.
- Add then to a glass jar together with all of the other spices.
- Close and shake up the jar to combine the ingredients.
- Store in your spice cabinet and try to use up within 6-12 months.
Depending on how intensely flavored you like your pickled vegetables, add ½ to 1 tablespoon of this mix to a 1 quart jar of cucumbers or other vegetables that you are pickling (300-500 grams of vegetable weight). Then add your salt water brine (for fermenting) or water and vinegar mixture (for pickling).
Other than making the obvious refrigerator pickles with cucumbers, I also like pickling green beans, radishes, zucchini spears, red onions, asparagus, beets, cauliflower florets, and carrots.
Other than the ingredients I use in my pickle spice mix, some like to also include cinnamon sticks, cardamon, star anise, juniper berries, or nutmeg. Feel free to add any or all of these to make your own unique blend.
Homemade Pickling Spice Recipe
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds black or yellow
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon dill seeds optional (or fennel seeds)
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 whole cloves crushed
- 4 bay leaves crushed
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger optional
- Start with the ingredients that need prepped. Crush the whole cloves and bay leaves by hand or with a mortar and pestle.4 whole cloves, 4 bay leaves
- Add them to a glass jar together with all of the other spices.2 tablespoons mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon coriander seed, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon dill seeds, 1 teaspoon allspice berries, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Close the jar and shake it up to combine the ingredients.
- Store the mixed pickling spices in a cool dry place. Try to use them up within 6-12 months.
- Use ½ to 1 tablespoon per quart of vegetables.
Recipe inspired by Evolving Table